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7 Reasons Why Your Dachshund Has Bad Breath & How You Can Treat It

Written by: Greg Iacono

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

brown smiling dachshund dog

7 Reasons Why Your Dachshund Has Bad Breath & How You Can Treat It

The Dachshund is a brave, affectionate, and playful dog that will always be ready with doggy kisses if given the opportunity. However, as the pet parent of a Dachshund, their kisses might be the last thing you want for one notable reason: bad breath. Yes, many dog breeds have smelly breath, but your average Dachshund has breath often referred to as “awful.” ln other words, it’s not the kind of breath you want right up in your face (even if your Dachshund is just being sweet).

Here are several reasons why your Dachshund has bad breath and some sage advice on how to deal with it. To find out more and start accepting doggy kisses from your Dachshund again, read on.


The 7 Reasons Why Your Dachshund Has Bad Breath

1. Your Dachshund’s Teeth Need a Good Brushing

If your Dachshund’s breath smells bad, it might be that all they need is a good tooth brushing. Remember, even though their teeth can withstand more abuse than ours, when food gets stuck in your Dachshund’s teeth, it will start to rot and cause foul breath. Veterinarians recommend brushing your Dachshund’s teeth a minimum of three times a week. However, if you genuinely want to protect your Dachshund’s teeth, two times a day is recommended.

2. Your Dachshund’s Crowded Teeth Have Formed Abscesses

An abscess is when a body tissue becomes swollen, such as your Dachshund’s gums. What happens is that, when they eat, tiny food particles become trapped between your dog’s teeth. If they aren’t removed, these bits of food rot, and the rotting process causes the surrounding gums to swell and become inflamed.

This happens more with Dachshunds because they have many teeth crammed into tiny mouths. Once inflamed, the abscess will begin to ooze pus, and your Dachshund’s breath will take a turn for the worse. A thorough tooth brushing and regular veterinary checkups are highly recommended if abscesses are causing your dog’s bad breath.

3. Your Dachshund’s Diet Isn’t Optimal

Like all dogs, a Dachshund needs a high-quality diet to stay healthy and active. If the kibble and treats you give your Dachshund are low quality, with lots of sugar, additives, salt, fillers, and chemicals, they could very well affect your dog’s GI tract, which can affect its breath.

Interestingly, Dachshunds fed a diet of primarily wet food seem to suffer from bad breath more than those fed mostly dry kibble. If your pup eats wet food, a change to all or at least partial dry food might solve their smelly situation. The best food you can buy for your Dachshund should be low in fat, moderate in protein, and have a high amount of fiber and the requisite vitamins and minerals.

a Longhaired Dachshund standing on grass
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

4. Your Dachshund Is Engaging in Coprophagia

If there’s one thing that will make your Dachshund’s breath smell awful, it’s eating poop. Why would your delightful Dachshund eat poop, you ask? There are several reasons, including certain medical conditions, a behavior problem, or that your Dachshund became a mom recently and is eating her puppies’ poop.

Whatever the reason, if your Dachshund is eating its poop or the poop from another dog or animal, their breath will be foul, and a good brushing will be needed. Also, determining why they’re eating poop is essential so that you can stop the behavior. In some cases, eating poop could be a sign of a medical condition that requires veterinary attention. If it’s a mother Dachshund, however, they will usually stop eating poop when their pups reach a few months of age.

5. Your Dachshund Might Have Diabetes

If your Dachshund has diabetes, the chances are high that its breath will smell bad. In fact, their breath might smell several different ways, including sweet, musty, and metallic. All of these different smells come from chemical reactions happening in your Dachshund’s body when they have diabetes or when it progresses to kidney problems.

Sweet breath, for example, comes from your Dachshund having too much sugar in its bloodstream, while a metallic odor is because its kidneys are having problems breaking down iron and other nutrients and toxins are being formed. Whatever the cause, if all other factors are ruled out, the likelihood of your Dachshund’s bad breath being caused by diabetes or kidney problems increases significantly.

6. Your Dachshund’s Chew Toys Might Be The Problem

Although not a common cause of bad breath, if your Dachshund plays with toys that hurt or damage its teeth and gums, bad breath can be the result. Some chew toys are too hard for Dachshunds. The wrong chew toy can cause damage to your dog’s gums and, in severe cases, crack or chip one or more of their teeth.

This can lead to gum infections, abscesses, and, in time, stinky breath. The easiest way to prevent bad breath from chewing and other toys is to buy toys designed for small dog breeds. The same goes for hard treats, which can be just as problematic for your pup’s teeth.

7. Your Dachshund Is Panting a Lot

Because of the shape of their face and snout, Dachshunds tend to pant more than other dogs. While their typical panting isn’t usually a problem, if your Dachshund is panting even more, like on a hot day at the park, their little mouth can dry out. If it does, one of the first things you’ll notice when you get home is that your pet has nasty breath. A big bowl of water is the best way to help. Also, consider bringing water with you on walks, especially on warm days, as Dachshunds can quickly get thirsty.

A man holds a dachshund's paw outdoors in a park in summer
Image Credit: Leka Sergeeva, Shutterstock

divider-dog paw

The 5 Ways on How To Improve Your Dachshund’s Bad Breath

If your Dachshund has smelly breath and you’ve ruled out any medical or health problems, the good news is there are several methods you can use to try and bring their breath under control and make it less stinky.

1. Give Your Dachshund Parsley

Parsley is a natural breath deodorizer and is also excellent for your pup’s GI tract and digestion. You can add it to your dog’s kibble chopped up in tiny bits or put some in a soft treat.

2. Give Your Dachshund Plain Greek Yogurt

Your Dachshund’s bad breath might be caused by problems in its stomach and a lack of “good” bacteria. By giving your dog plain Greek yogurt, the probiotics will balance their flora and fauna and improve their breath.

3. Brush Your Dachshund’s Teeth Regularly

There’s no better way to keep your Dachshund’s breath smelling nice than to brush their teeth as often as possible. Vets recommend two times a day which, if we’re honest, is a lot for a busy person. The minimum is three times a week, which should be doable for most pet parents.

4. Purchase Treats That Clean Your Dachshund’s Teeth While They Chew

Many treats on the market are made from high-quality ingredients that will help keep your dog’s teeth clean while they happily chew away. The same can be said for chew toys that aren’t meant to be eaten.

5. Use a Dental Freshener in Your Dachshund’s Water Bowl

There are many companies that make dental products geared toward dogs. Most are made to be added to your Dachshund’s water and are odorless and tasteless. It’s recommended to get a high-quality product with all-natural ingredients and as few chemicals as possible.

Brindle dachshund in snow in sunny day
Image By: Agnese Kurzemniece, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Did you figure out what’s causing your Dachshund’s bad breath using the information provided today? We hope so because we love getting kisses from our pets as much as you do! Most Dachshund’s bad breath problems are caused by dental issues, as we’ve seen, and brushing their teeth is essential. Bad breath can also be caused by kidney problems, coprophagia, and abscesses, which will need veterinary help to correct. Whatever the cause, we hope the information we’ve provided today will help you solve your Dachshund’s bad breath issues and see you gladly accepting their tiny doggy kisses once again.

Featured Image Credit: Henry Lai, Unsplash

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